1. EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL COST. The number one cost is the emotional cost, and that typically gets left out by many attorneys and does not get discussed with clients, but I feel it's important for women to be honest with themselves on the emotional cost of staying in a bad relationship. Are you in a situation where you have no intimacy or communication, are you just a roommate?
Have you considered the emotional cost to your well-being, your self-esteem, your femininity, your humanness? We are all relational beings and if you are sharing a home with somebody you may be missing out on that relationship piece at a very high cost to you emotionally. It's worse than living alone because you're living with somebody who you do not speak with, who does not respect you, that you're going to grow to resent if you don't already.
At the end of the day, we only have so many days on this planet, so when it comes to money, we can always get more money, make more money. But money is not the key to spiritual and emotional health and happiness. I say look at the emotional cost first, that you are really suffering by staying in a relationship that is not serving you. It could be harmful to you and shortening your life.
2. FINANCIAL COST. I start with the emotional cost because that puts, I think, I hope it puts it in perspective for women as to what the true value in our lives are. If you are thinking, “I need the money for my children." I suggest you consider the real value your children get from you and what they need from you. I think your children would rather have you around and I think you would rather be around as a happy functioning human being for many years to come versus what's in the pocketbook. If not, that's for another article.
Financially, the assets will be divided. Now if it's a long-term marriage and everything's marital, that's very straight forward as far as the division. Depending on whether or not your state is a separate property state (like Florida) or a community property state, the analysis will differ on the distribution of assets. The general concepts are the same that assets will be classified as either marital or non-marital and even non-marital assets can have a marital component that require an analysis.
Alimony or spousal support is available in most states and the evaluation is how much and for how long. In that last video I did on alimony, I mentioned that for the majority of our clients, alimony is available. The question is how much and for how long? Then, again, that takes a good legal analysis and an understanding of the client's goals, dreams, desires for their future so that you can properly prepare that alimony case.
3. LEGAL COST. Everybody always wants to know, "What is this going to cost?” This is too expensive. The analysis I suggest you use is, compared to what? Compared to the rest of your life? Compared to your financial independence and freedom? What is too expensive? Now, you should be getting as much value as you're paying for, if not more. You should have a great relationship with your attorney, and have a trust built in, and be able to voice concerns, voice complaints and discuss your goals with your attorney.
The best attorneys give you all the options, weigh the risks, and provides you with a strategy, not just we show up and we argue. There needs to be a strategy throughout the divorce that your attorney is telling you and showing you and that is based on your goals and what you are entitled to in the law.
Those are the top three initial concerns regarding the cost of divorce. I submit to you look at those and start with the emotional, physical, spiritual. If you're not moving forward, you’re moving backwards and you're regressing. That is going to shorten your life and the quality of any other relationships you try to have. I hope this was helpful. Please reach out, comment, and certainly contact our office to assist you in any questions or concerns with a pending divorce or ongoing divorce. www.thequicklawgroup.com